Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Scheduling my Headspace

Writing practices are fabulous things, and they definitely do help me to become creative and productive of writing. Potential problems with them, though, are the following:
  1. They can take over, like crabgrass. I've noticed this with journaling, particularly, or blogging. Or even Facebook status writing. If I'm not careful, I can spend all my time working on the practices that are supposed to be there to help me write other things.
  2. They tend to birth their own projects. These projects are happy things--evidences of creativity and writing productivity--but if you have other projects that are more urgent, it can lead to over-writing-commitment.
  3. They can become ends in themselves. This is related to #1, but is a bit different. It refers to how one performs these practices. Practices can help lead into writing, or they can become escapes from writing.

All of these potential problems remind me how important it is that I allocate my headspace carefully. The practices, if they are to help me instead of diverting me, must be done with intentionality and an eye towards the project I need to work on most.

Journaling, for instance, is of utmost importance, but I've learned I need to keep an eye on the clock when it's there to clear my head to provide space for working on another project. And if I want great ideas in the shower regarding a certain project, it helps to look over my notes on that project before I jump in, or I'll spend the time thinking about other things.

There are, of course, other wonderful ideas that are bound to be inspired by the practices--my way of dealing with those is having a places to jot down ideas to be developed later. That way I've captured them, but don't feed the need to finish them then. Sometimes it's okay to be diverted for a time, I think, and too much strictness with myself can stifle my ability to get anything done, but if I want to proceed on certain projects, I have to provide myself with headspace for doing them.

That's why, on my wall next to my list of writing practices, I have a list of projects I want to allocate headspace to. Speaking of which, it's time now to re-allocate my headspace from blogging to that paper I'm supposed to be finishing up so I can move on to one of those other projects.

Anyone else have any tips on allocating headspace, or other issues relating to keeping one's thoughts on task? Please, add a comment to tell me about them.

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